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01-02-2013 | Uitgave 1/2013

Journal of Behavioral Medicine 1/2013

Self-efficacy and barriers to multiple behavior change in low-income African Americans with hypertension

Journal of Behavioral Medicine > Uitgave 1/2013
Carol L. Mansyur, Valory N. Pavlik, David J. Hyman, Wendell C. Taylor, G. Kenneth Goodrick


Behavioral risk factors are among the preventable causes of health disparities, yet long-term change remains elusive. Many interventions are designed to increase self-efficacy, but little is known about the effect on long-term behavior change in older, low-income African Americans, especially when facing more problematic barriers. A cohort of 185 low-income African–Americans with hypertension reported barriers they encountered while undergoing a multiple behavior change trial from 2002 to 2006. The purpose of the present study was to explore the relationships between self-efficacy, barriers, and multiple behavior change over time. Higher self-efficacy seemed to be partially helpful for smoking reduction and increasing physical activity, but not for following a low-sodium diet. Addiction was indirectly associated with less reduction in smoking through lower self-efficacy. Otherwise, different barriers were associated with behavior change than were associated with self-efficacy: being “too busy” directly interfered with physical activity and “traditions” with low-sodium diet; however, they were neither the most frequently reported barriers, nor associated with lower self-efficacy. This suggests that an emphasis on self-efficacy alone may be insufficient for overcoming the most salient barriers encountered by older African Americans. Additionally, the most common perceived barriers may not necessarily be relevant to long-term behavioral outcomes.

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